Principal found dead in school

August 31, 2006|By Justin Fenton | Justin Fenton,sun reporter

At the William Paca/Old Post Road elementary school complex in Harford County, it wasn't always easy to find Principal Franklin L. Tull.

With his planner bulging with papers and tucked under his arm, he frequently moved between the two buildings at the Abingdon school. He would pitch in during cafeteria duty, chat with parents or sit down with troubled pupils.

But Tuesday, shortly after the children had left at the end of the second day of school, a custodian found the 53-year-old on the floor of a locked bathroom in the Old Post Road building. Tull was taken to Upper Chesapeake Hospital, where he was pronounced dead, apparently of natural causes.

Crisis teams visited the school yesterday. Using crayons and construction paper, pupils depicted Tull, who received his pilot's license in February, flying a red airplane past a smiling sun. Another drew him clad in a blue suit and red cape. "My Superman," it read.

School officials, meanwhile, were left to start the school year without the man who has been the principal for a decade. Tull joined the Harford school system in 1975 as a teacher at William Paca/Old Post Road elementary and returned as principal in 1997.

School officials said Tull had not shown any signs of illness before Tuesday afternoon. The state medical examiners office declined to perform an autopsy, indicating his death resulted from natural causes.

justin.fenton@baltsun.com

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